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MDU Resources Q4'16 EPS beats analyst estimates by 5 cents

MDU Resources Group Inc. on Feb. 1 reported fourth-quarter 2016 earnings from continuing operations of $66.3 million, or 33 cents per share, beating the S&P Capital IQ normalized EPS consensus estimate by 5 cents.

The company booked earnings from continuing operations of $55.7 million, or 29 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2015.

Including discontinued operations, the company's fourth-quarter earnings were up $13.1 million, or 6 cents per share, year over year to $65.5 million, or 33 cents per share. Operating revenues for the period were flat at $1.01 billion while operating income rose to $111.5 million from $81.9 in the fourth quarter of 2015.

On a segment basis, the company's construction materials business posted a $5.6 million year-over-year increase in fourth-quarter 2016 earnings to $27.6 million. Earnings at the regulated energy delivery business were up $2.1 million year over year to $37.7 million for the most recent quarter.

For the full year 2016, the company posted earnings from continuing operations of $232.4 million, or $1.19 per share, compared with $175.7 million, or 90 cents per share, in 2015. The S&P Capital IQ normalized EPS consensus estimate for 2016 was $1.14.

"Our continuing operations increased earnings per share by 32% in 2016, led by record results at our construction materials business," said MDU Resources President and CEO David Goodin in a company statement.

"We successfully completed several strategic moves, including fully exiting from our exploration and production business, the refining business and, more recently, our interest in the Pronghorn natural gas processing plant, which have lowered our business risk profile and positioned us for future growth," Goodin said.

Including discontinued operations, primarily the E&P and refining businesses, MDU Resources reported 2016 earnings of $63.7 million, or 33 cents per share, compared with a loss of $623.1 million, or $3.20 per share, in 2015.

The company recorded full-year 2016 operating revenues of $4.13 billion, an increase from $4.01 billion in 2015, and operating income of $409.1 million, compared with $319.8 million in 2015.

Looking ahead, MDU Resources is targeting full-year 2017 EPS in the range of $1.10 to $1.25.

"As we move into 2017, we expect to build on our momentum through organic growth opportunities, and we are open to strategic acquisitions as they are identified by our construction materials and services and regulated energy delivery businesses," Goodin said.

The company previously unveiled a five-year, $1.9 billion capital plan with an additional $300 million available in 2017 and 2018 for high-value projects.